"And deceiveth them that
dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which
he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to
them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an
image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and
did live. And he had power to give life unto the image
of the beast, that the image of the beast should both
speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the
image of the beast should be killed." Revelation
Studying how a set of conjoined twins
know what the other is seeing has "validated" a
ground-breaking approach to brain implants that could
have come straight from the science fiction TV series
Despite having separate brains, the
twins in Canada can communicate thoughts and see or feel
each other's sensory input, even if their respective
eyes are closed, prompting scientists from a US-based
artificial intelligence (AI) developer to take a closer
Dr Phillip Alveda, founding chief
executive of Corticol.ai, said functional magnetic
resonance imaging (FMRI) showed the twins' brains were
connected via a single passage which led into each
"It's through about two million
neurons, just two million, that they can convey emotion,
awareness, sensation, sight, vision, hearing," he
"Now we have a blueprint for a
direct interface from one brain to another."
He said his team had already
pinpointed the thalamus as a potential target for an
implant interface when they came across the conjoined
twins in a documentary by the CBC.
"To find the twins and see the
code between the different hemispheres of the brain and
say, 'Oh my God, if we can replicate just that code,
we'll be able to transmit the code for sure, it's like a
validation'," Dr Alveda said.
Interface to be implanted within two years
Speaking at this week's Hybrid World
Adelaide tech conference, Dr Alveda said a Rice and Yale
university team had created an interface with the
consistency of tissue paper that could be laid over the
brain beneath the skull to decode and trigger neurons.
Funded by the US Defence Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where Dr Alveda was a
former program director, the work is geared towards
compensating for a person's blindness or deafness by
delivering digital information directly into parts of
the brain that process it.
He said the technology had been
implanted in rodents and "near-human primates" and,
within about two years, would be operating in the first
Dr Alveda said such work was helping
scientists understand how vision or hearing was
represented via "code in the brain and move work
towards a technologist's wet dream of being able to see
out of someone else's eyes".
"If I had an implant, and you had
an implant, you could say: 'Hey, I wasn't able to make
it to my daughter's recital, honey, so can you turn on
the implant so I can watch?'"
Several episodes of the popular
British series Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker,
portray technology that enables people to see or feel
the world through another person's perspective —
typically with disastrous results.
be made less invasive
Dr Alveda said validating the
prospect of a thalamus interface meant it was "only a
matter of time" until hardware was "made more
miniaturised and more easily implantable".
"We can have telepathic
communication, not just of vision, but of all our
cognitive awareness," he said.
"Imagine that situation. It's not
a matter of if, it's a matter of when."
Dr Alveda said regulations from the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) meant "invasive" implants that
required a skull to be opened could only be used to
benefit people who were willing to take a surgical risk
to overcome a "serious deficit".
"They're going to be inside people
within two years," he said.
"But for you and I, we have to
wait a few more generations for it to become less
invasive. Maybe it will be in a baseball cap or a
headband or eye glasses, but each six months we have a
new generation that's smaller and more powerful."
Among other subjects, Dr Alveda talked about his team's
project to develop a synthetic cerebellum.
His team has a focus on creating
anthropomorphic, or humanised, AI, and is working
towards creating synthetic personalities that people
Its first applications would be used
for medicine and surgery and caring for the elderly,
with Corticol.ai's initial version expected to be
operating in about six months.
a 'tempest in a teacup'
Dr Alveda opened his address with
images from James Cameron's The Terminator and its
sequels — a franchise in which artificial intelligence
rises against its human creators and destroys the world
as we know it.
He said he was not worried in the
least about the prospect of an "AI apocalypse".
"This whole idea of the AI
apocalypse where all of a sudden it's going to surprise
you, that's fantasy. We're replacing system by system by
system ... these things are not going to sneak up on
you. They don't have agency. They don't have a physical
He said a friend once joked that
worrying about the AI apocalypse was "like worrying
about overpopulation on Alpha Centauri".
"We're not even at the star, much
less going there anytime soon. It's a tempest in a
teacup, in my eyes."
A new internet game is
challenging users to commit suicide. The
game originated on Facebook and is now
circulating on WhatsApp. The sick
suicide "game" dubbed “Momo” has been
spreading on WhatsApp, prompting police
to issue warnings about the shocking
President Donald Trump moved the U.S.
Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem many people of faith quickly
recognized the biblical significance of
such a move. Trump, like King Cyrus
before him, fulfilled biblical prophecy,
by recognizing that Jerusalem is the
eternal capital of the Jewish state and
that the Jewish people deserve a
righteous, free and sovereign Israel.